As much as I want to be an amazingly original blogger of great documentation, I just can't "re-write" what I've already written someplace else. It's too tedious and unnecessary. So, I'll begin with a little preface, a set up to where this is leading, and then I'm just going to copy and paste from a word document...
Before you were born your Dad and I hosted a foreign exchange student
named Isabel, from Spain. We really enjoyed having her for a school year
and still communicate with her six years later. Our experience with Isabel
was blessed both ways, and we have very fond memories of our time with her.
Back in December, your Dad and I began to discuss hosting a
Foreign Exchange Student again. We felt like the idea came out of nowhere
and would not go away (usually a good indicator that God is involved).
When we agreed that we were comfortable to proceed,
we asked what you thought of the idea.
You haven't been a fan of adding anyone to our life since...
pretty much the day you could say, "no babies, Mama!" :)
For this reason we expected you to need a little persuading
at the idea of bringing another child into this house.
We were surprised when you accepted it with open arms.
You were very excited about having a host sister live with us for a school year.
In the first weeks of our search for an agency we explained to you
what the journey would look like and the time frame things would work within.
It is kind of a long process and you are more of a now or never kind of kid
(I wonder where you got that from?)
Once we selected the agency, AFS, we were connected with a rep., Kim.
Then we were able to begin the paperwork. The application was a small book
and only took us a couple of DAYS to fill out.
We also got to include an essay about our family, friends, life style,
activities, community, etc...
as well as photos of every nook and cranny of our home.
That was the fun part. ;)
Once accepted we had our back ground checks done and finally
a one on one meeting and house study.
Then it was time to wait.
Our referrals would come in as soon as Kim felt that a student enrolled
might be a match for our family.
The following is directly out of the word document journal
that I have been keeping for our student:
Today, we received our first referral!!!
Her name is Sarita. We are not allowed to see any photos
of the students before we decide, so we do not know what
she looks like. We are only to read a letter from her and one
from her parent/s. Both letters have given us a good idea
of what she is like.
She sounds SO sweet. She is 15 years old, a good student
(top in her class), loves swimming, handball, and tennis.
She is the middle child of two other siblings. She gets along
well with them.
Sarita loves her parents and views them as her greatest guides
and counselors. She writes that she likes to read,
listen to music and watch movies. She is interested in studying
Biochemistry. She likes fashion and creates her own clothing
(which Greg is very happy about). She also writes that she
likes to camp because she likes the fresh air.
Her Mother shares that Sarita is very responsible and independent,
a good sibling friend, and is not only her daughter but also
She has only been away from her home for a four day summer camp
experience and otherwise enjoys spending time at home,
weekends with extended family visits, etc…
I hate to jump the gun and just say we love her and want her
being that she is the first student we have looked at…
but quite frankly, we love her and want her.
We are waiting for a Spanish student who is on hold with another
family. If the family does not choose her then we will have
a hold placed on her for three days. We will know this before
our hold on Sarita is expired.
I’m sure the Spanish girl is lovely, however, I would be sad to
lose Sarita right now, so I can’t imagine us choosing the Spanish
student no matter what. We’ll see!!! It’s all so exciting!!
March 30, 2011
Today we received the letters from the Spanish student.
We read them as more of a formality. We are too in love with Sarita to consider a different student.
After receiving and reading the letters we called Kim to tell
her she could remove the hold on the Spanish girl and move
forward in securing Sarita’s placement with us!
We’re very excited. Kim informed us that we will get to
see our first photos of Sarita and her family when we meet with
Kim in DePere for an FES gathering on Sunday.
We can hardly wait! We’re SO grateful!!!
April 3, 2011
Today we were able to look at Sarita’s entire application with photos!
She is stunningly beautiful, and I assure that is not just
a host mommy's bias speaking. :)
I loved seeing her handwriting and the notes she made for us
on her photos. Her family is so sweet. I feel anxious and sad
for her to have to leave them for so long. On the other hand,
I’m SO excited that she is coming HERE to live with US!!!
Now, we have to wait up to three weeks for the school to receive
her paper work and approve of her placement at the high school
we chose for her. We are not allowed to use her name or share
her photos on the internet until we get the invitation to contact her.
Sarita and her family will not know that a family has chosen her
until the papers are signed, received, and approved of by
both agencies. It’s hard to think of her NOT KNOWING yet.
Once everything is final we will be allowed to contact her and
begin communicating with her before she arrives in August!!!!
Too exciting. I need to go jump up and down a little.
As of yesterday everything has been finalized and we have been given
the go-ahead to contact Sarita and her family.
We are excited to receive her response!:)